An elk hunter and professional taxidermist who was attacked by a grizzly bear near Fernie, B.C., earlier this month was saved from the mauling, but accidentally shot in the leg, by his son-in-law. Wilf Lloyd and Skeet Podrasky were blood trailing an elk on the family’s farm when the bear appeared and charged at Lloyd, who yelled for Podrasky to shoot. Lloyd was pinned on the ground by the bear, which bit his arms and went for his face and throat, when he was hit in the thigh with one of Podrasky’s first three shots at the animal.

“I only had three bullets—I was out,” Podrasky told Metro Calgary. “Then, the bear proceeded to charge again. It came right at us. Wilf was able to tell me where his gun was—it had gotten knocked down when he got run over. That’s how I finished the bear before it came back to get both of us. The bear was definitely going to finish him… After that, I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was surreal.”

An air ambulance rushed Lloyd to a Calgary hospital, where he has undergone two surgeries, so far. Doctors fear they may still have to amputate his injured leg. Friends and family have raised $15,000 for Lloyd’s medical costs through an online fundraising campaign, and the man is in good spirits. In his first interview since the mauling on October 12, Lloyd told the Calgary Sun that Podrasky is his hero. “There’s absolutely no way I’d be here if Skeet hadn’t been there,” he said.

But Podrasky says the attack still haunts him. “Everything happened so fast,” he said. “It could have been so much worse, but it could have been so much better. It’s hard not to wonder.”